Scum vs Suds - What's the difference?

scum | suds | Related terms |

Scum is a related term of suds.

As nouns the difference between scum and suds

is that scum is (uncountable) a layer of impurities that accumulates at the surface of a liquid (especially molten metal or water) while suds is lather, foam.

As a verb scum

is to remove the layer of scum from (a liquid etc).



Alternative forms

* (l)


  • (uncountable) A layer of impurities that accumulates at the surface of a liquid (especially molten metal or water).
  • (uncountable) A greenish water vegetation (such as algae), usually found floating on the surface of ponds
  • The topmost liquid layer of a cesspool or septic tank.
  • (uncountable, slang, chiefly US) semen
  • (countable, derogatory, slang) A reprehensible person or persons.
  • (countable, derogatory, slang) police officer(s)
  • Synonyms

    * (layer of impurities) dross, impurities * (layer of impurities on molten metal) cinder, scoriae, slag * (person considered reprehensible) bastard


  • To remove the layer of scum from (a liquid etc.).
  • To remove (something) as scum.
  • *1590 , Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene , II.vii:
  • *:Some scumd the drosse, that from the metall came; / Some stird the molten owre with ladles great.
  • To become covered with scum.
  • *1769 , Elizabeth Raffald, The Experienced English House-keeper , pp.321-322:
  • *:Take the smallest Cucumbers you can get, and as free from Spots as possible, put them into a strong Salt and Water for nine or ten Days, or 'till they are quite Yellow, and stir them twice a Day at least, or they will scum over, and grow soft
  • (obsolete) To scour (the land, sea etc.).
  • *:
  • *:SOo by Merlyns aduys ther were sente fore rydars to skumme the Countreye / & they mette with the fore rydars of the north / and made hem to telle whiche wey the hooste cam / and thenne they told it to Arthur / and by kyng Ban and Bors counceill they lete brenne and destroye alle the contrey afore them there they shold ryde
  • *Milton
  • *:Wandering up and down without certain seat, they lived by scumming those seas and shores as pirates.
  • (obsolete) To gather together, as scum.
  • *1815 , Rudolf Ackerman and Frederic Shoberl, The Repository of Arts, Literature, Commerce, Manufactures, Fashions and Politics :
  • *:A great majority of the members are scummed together from the Jacobinical dregs of former periods of the revolution.
  • To startscum or savescum.
  • Anagrams

    * *




  • lather, foam
  • Derived terms

    * soapsuds * suds up